Hair loss in men- causes & treatment

Hair loss in men- causes & treatment

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Most men will experience some degree of hair loss during their lives- many have no wish to take any action, but some may opt to seek treatment. So, what causes male pattern baldness and what can be done to prevent or reverse it?

 

How can our online doctors save you time?

The scalp skin normally changes testosterone to another hormone called dihydrotestosterone. In balding men it seems that the hair follicles become too sensitive to this hormone and react by shrinking over time. Normally a single hair should last around 3 years, but as hair follicles shrink, the hairs become thinner and shed more often, until they get so short and thin that they no longer grow out through the skin.

 

At first, the hair recedes or thins around the temples, while also becoming thinner on the top of the head. These areas of hair loss get bigger and join up, leaving a patch of hair at the front of the head, which over time also becomes thinner. Often a narrow band of hair will be left around the back and sides of the head, though this too can be lost, leading to complete baldness. The length of time it takes to go bald varies widely between men- from just a few years to more than twenty years.

 

Treating Hair Loss

Obviously, for some men, becoming bald may cause concerns relating to physical appearance. But there are some treatments that may help. Finasteride (Propecia) is a prescription medication that works by blocking the change from testosterone to dihydrotestosterone. The size of the hair follicles then increases which helps hair growth. Somewhere between 1 in 3 and 1 in 6 men who take Finasteride get enough hair regrowth to make this medication worth using. It can take about 4 months to see noticeable results, though it can take up to 2 years to achieve the full effect. If the medication is stopped, the baldness will return. Side effects are uncommon, but some men may report a lower sex drive.

Hair loss and baldness

Other options include Minoxidil (often branded as Regaine or Rogaine)- this is a lotion available over-the-counter from pharmacies that is applied to the scalp. It is not clear if it is particularly effective, but it may prevent further hair loss in the early stages of baldness. It does not seem to cause much regrowth. Aside from these medications, some men may consider the option of hair transplant surgery.

If hair loss seems to be happening in a pattern different to that described above (for example very rapid, widespread or patchy hair loss) it is worth speaking to a doctor, as there may be a more unusual cause at play, requiring investigation and potentially different treatment. However, the good news is that for straight-forward male pattern baldness, it will soon be possible to get an online prescription for Finasteride (Propecia) from the online doctors at Qoctor- and avoid the need to take time out of a busy day to see a doctor in person.

 

Learn more about online prescriptions

The new 5 yearly cervical screening test- what you need to know

By | December 13th, 2017|Categories: Women's Health|

The new 5 yearly cervical screening test- the key facts So, the new 5 yearly cervical screening test for women aged 25 to 74 has finally arrived, replacing the 2 yearly pap smear [...]

Comments Off on The new 5 yearly cervical screening test- what you need to know

Conjunctivitis- what causes it and how it’s treated

By | December 8th, 2017|Categories: Common infections, Children & Babies, Eye Problems|

Conjunctivitis- what causes it and how it's treated     What is conjunctivitis? Conjunctivitis is a common infection of the eye. The conjunctiva is the clear membrane covering the white of the eye [...]

Comments Off on Conjunctivitis- what causes it and how it’s treated

Glandular Fever- the facts about the “kissing disease”

By | December 6th, 2017|Categories: Travel Health & Infectious Disease, Common infections, Children & Babies|

Glandular Fever- the key facts about the "kissing disease"     What is Glandular Fever? Glandular Fever (also known as Infectious Mononucleosis) is a viral illness caused by the Epstein-Barr Virus (or EBV for [...]

Comments Off on Glandular Fever- the facts about the “kissing disease”

Whooping cough- why it’s dangerous and who should be vaccinated

By | December 4th, 2017|Categories: Travel Health & Infectious Disease, Children & Babies, Lung & Respiratory Conditions|

Whooping cough- why it's serious and who should be vaccinated     What is whooping cough? Whooping cough is a highly contagious lung infection caused by the bacteria Bordetella Pertussis. It is common, [...]

Comments Off on Whooping cough- why it’s dangerous and who should be vaccinated

What causes warts and what wart treatments work?

By | December 1st, 2017|Categories: Common infections, Skin & hair conditions, Embarrassing health problems|

What causes warts and what wart treatments work?     How do you get warts? Warts are caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). This can affect anyone, but can more easily enter [...]

Comments Off on What causes warts and what wart treatments work?
2017-08-16T19:15:57+00:00 By |Hair loss in men|

About the Author:

Aifric Boylan
Originally from Ireland, Dr Boylan is an experienced GP based in Melbourne. She is also committed to innovation in the area of online medicine and health technology. Aifric is a keen distance runner, and plays the violin, but not at the same time…

9.3 out of 10
reviewed by Trustpilot